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VUYO MAKHALIMA QUESTIONING LENS TRAVELLING AGENCY

MARCH

IDENTIFIED INEFFIENCY
A large number of the South African youth is scattered across the country in
higher learning institutions. Each university hosts a diversified contingent of
individuals from different provinces, all looking to carve out a better future for
themselves.
These young people choose institutions based on their academic strength,
personal interests and how well that particular institution teaches their degree of
choice.
Because most of these young people do not study in their hometowns, they
make use of public transport extensively when travelling between home and
university.
What I have I identified as an inefficiency is that there is a large number of
students traveling to the same destination on the same day but they pay the
premium price for travel tickets or they settle for the mediocre student discount
offered by transport companies.
Students travel dates are determined by term dates and these dates are made
available approximately 1-2years in advance. This means that students can
organize their trips at a much earlier stage but there is not a dedicated service to
assist them in doing so.
QUESTIONS
1. Are transport companies willing to prioritize students by giving them
discounts?
2. Is there a dedicated service to assist students organize and plan their trips
for their academic year?
3. Would students bursars be willing to pay for students travelling costs
between the university and school, if they were working with a credible
travelling agency?
4. How would one get support from students for a student travel agency?
5. What major challenges would the agency face in working as the middleman between the student and the transport companies/
INNOVATIVE SOLUTION
I would propose a travelling agency that caters for the needs of the students on a
large scale. The agency would set up a branch office at each campus at every
university, it would employ university students. The agency would make

VUYO MAKHALIMA QUESTIONING LENS TRAVELLING AGENCY

MARCH

extensive us of online resources such as allowing students to book their tickets


online without having to visit the branch office. Rental fees and labour costs
might have a defect on the profitability of this business model so it advisable
that the agency makes use of containers (figure 1), and positions them
strategically both location-wise and time-wise.

Figure 1
The containers will be vending centres where students can buy travel tickets at
peak times such as the end of a term. In order to popularize the agency,
students would be offered loyalty cards which would then help the agency store
information of students. So that the students do not have to enter their
information over and over again, the agency will pick up their most travelled to
places and will keep them updated about the specials regarding traveling prices
to those places.

The success of the agency lies in its ability to give students and transport
companies what they cannot get by themselves. The agency needs to negotiate
for much lower prices from the transport companies and then sell them to
students at lower prices. The key is also giving information earlier on so that the
students can purchase all their travelling tickets at the beginning of the year.

The agency could have a competitive advantage over outlets such as


Computicket because it will be situated on campus.
In order to be successful, the agency would have to effectively:

VUYO MAKHALIMA QUESTIONING LENS TRAVELLING AGENCY

MARCH

Invest in an e-business system that will co-ordinate business activities i.e.

the selling of tickets


Bargain for cheaper prices from transport companies by promising them

more customers
(Using the agencys popularity amongst the students)
Acquire a large student followership/membership through peer-promotion,
excellent customer service, rapid word-of-mouth and heaving online

presence on social media.


Set up an efficient head office.

The agency will not only focus on flight and bus tickets but it will also organise
the cabs to transport students from the airport/bus-station to the university and
from the airport/bus-station to home.
In a bid to expand the market, the agency will not benefit from good partnerships
with airlines and bus companies only but in addition, it will form partnerships
with taxi associations in order to cater for students who cannot afford bus/flight
tickets.
It is highly likely that students bursars are willing to purchase students
travelling tickets but do not do so due to the high admin burden. The agency
would benefit from a partnership with such bursars because the agency would
organize all the trips for students who are covered by that scholarship/bursary.
If the bursary or scholarship company is not willing to pay the full price of the
ticket, it can subsidize the ticket cost for the students. For example, the
Foundation can subsidize 10% of the cost and the agency will give discount of
10% to Candidate Fellows. This will ensure that all Candidate Fellows buy their
tickets from the agency.
If this model works, the agency could then negotiate with NSFAS to pay or give
subsidies

for

students

travel

costs.

This

would

be

breakthrough for the agency in acquiring student support.

ground-breaking